Media Release by The Hon Christian Porter MP

NDIS to provide big boost to NT jobs and economy

Up to 1300 new jobs are expected to be created in the Northern Territory by 2020 as a result of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said that along with between an extra 1175 and 1325 jobs for the NT, the disability services market in the Territory is expected to double to $320 million.

The figures are revealed in the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) Northern Territory Market Position Statement (MPS), which has been released today, and estimates a total workforce of between 2,150 and 2,700 at full scheme in 2020.

The MPS is designed to inform current local, interstate and prospective disability services providers, as well as disability stakeholders more broadly, of the opportunities the NDIS will create in coming years.

“The significant growth in disability expenditure and intended increase in localised service delivery will contribute to improved local community capacity, economic opportunities and job creation,” the Minister said.

“What this will look like is more than twice as many jobs and a big injection of dollars into the local market.

“Most importantly, an additional 3,345 people with permanent and significant disability in the Northern Territory will receive funded supports – an increase of 103 per cent, the second largest expected percentage increase of all states and territories nationally.

“This will drive increased demand for quality services, new products and technologies, increased jobs and strong economic growth right across the Territory.”

The NDIS market will expand dramatically in coming years within the existing sector and with new local entrants, not only in terms of services that are currently delivered, but also innovative and different types of services. The Australian and Northern Territory Governments will, in the near future, provide details of specific support that will be made available to the Northern Territory transition to the NDIS, including the development of the disability support sector through the Sector Development Fund.

Minister Porter said local markets in the Northern Territory were already expanding and diversifying in response to participant demand.

“Since the introduction of the Scheme in the Barkly in July 2014, there has been a 100 per cent increase in new providers servicing that area alone,” the Minister said.

“The number of registered providers is steadily increasing right across the Territory: at the end of September 2016, there were 111 registered providers, a massive 164 per cent increase since the end of trial in June 2016 when there were 42 providers.”

The Territory’s unique geography, cultural characteristics and service delivery models make it difficult to estimate workforce growth at a regional level. The number of participants who reside locally and those who travel to access services will influence the pattern of growth of the regional workforce right across the Territory.

The Department of Social Services, through the Sector Development Fund (SDF) in conjunction with states and territories, is providing support to the market, sector and workforce to transition to the NDIS.

The NDIA will continue to closely monitor issues raised by providers and work with providers to build capacity to ensure the highest quality services are delivered to those who need them.

Jane Prentice, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, said the Territory’s unique geographic and cultural characteristics, with its high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents, had informed a community by community approach to Scheme rollout.

“The approach to NDIS rollout in the Northern Territory is co-designed with communities to address the need for a sustainable local supply of services for greater consumer choice,” Minister Prentice said.

“This will ensure the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability are central to the design, delivery and services which directly affect them. It also recognises the unique characteristics of each community and the difference between urban, regional and remote Territory markets.

“The approach seeks to build capacity directly with communities, working closely with Aboriginal Land Councils, corporations and service providers. This will increase the opportunity for economic participation of people with disability and others in their communities.”

The MPS aims to share information about the emerging NDIS in the marketplace, allowing providers to better understand areas of expected demand growth and the characteristics of particular markets. It will assist providers and communities to make business decisions about how they can adapt to and grow within the new system.

The MPS is available on the NDIS website.

Background information

Growth in estimated demand in the Northern Territory – participants and cost and rollout timetable

Region Participants
Full Scheme
Cost ($ millions)
Full Scheme
Rollout commencement
Barkly 200 5 From 1 July 2016 (remaining)
Central Australia 1,200 60 From 1 July 2018 (from 1 July 2017 for people in supported accommodation in Alice Springs)
Darwin Remote 700 40 From 1 July 2017
Darwin Urban 3,600 170 From 1 July 2018 (from 1 January 2017 for people in supported accommodation)
East Arnhem 500 30 From 1 January 2017
Katherine 300 15 From 1 July 2017 (including people in supported accommodation)
Territory Pre NDIS Full Scheme Growth # Growth % Pre NDIS Full Scheme Growth # Growth %
Total 3,200 6,500 3,300 103 160 320 160 100